RaveLos Angeles Review of Books... reading Smith’s body of work in this way was such an enriching experience ... revisiting her work in this way made me see individual poems and her body of work through a more nuanced lens—her poems become more overtly political for one thing ... the book gave me a greater appreciation for a more constellated reading experience, that is accretive over time, due to the consistency of Smith’s writing. I was struck by how reliably skilled Smith’s writing is, from the very first book ... I’m not sure if I’m meant to focus on any particular singular poem, but instead, I feel a collective haze of excellence when I’m done reading. There are different themes that change...but the consistency of the writing and the consistency of the quality of the writing is something that I noticed.
RaveLos Angeles Review of BooksThe book’s structure allows the reader to see the stitching in the poems’ clothing. I felt brought along the process of the speaker’s reckoning, along a nonlinear and painful but also revelatory path ... This is a raw, fraught book by someone who has felt broken but has nevertheless found, in language, in poetry, the ability to reconstitute the self. It is sort of remarkable ... I found several poems in this collection utterly wrenching. \'Self-Portrait with Door\' is one of the most heartbreaking poems I’ve ever read ... her work enters into conversation with the Confessionalists but is less theatrical. More mournful. Differently rendered. Her trauma is not the primary subject; her healing is ... a unique book of poems ... The collection feels like a work of process, a memoir in verse, as I mentioned earlier. The subject matter in these poems is very clear and palpable. I can see these poems resonating with so many readers.